【A-PAD Sri Lanka】 Vulnerable Communities Experience Unexpected Fire in Thotalanga Sri Lanka
On 15th March 2021, a lower socio-economic residential area experienced a fire after a lamp was left lit in an unoccupied house. The fire broke out at 3:15 AM in Kajeema Waththa, Colombo, razing almost 40 houses to the ground, affecting 32 families (141 individuals including 68 children). The resident population is of low socio-economic background and the damage experienced required significant attention. The residents were evacuated to a temporary shelter and are currently housed in Thotalanga Prajashalawa.
Upon receiving news of the incident, A-PAD Sri Lanka quickly alerted its international platform in Japan of the emergency. Thereafter, A-PAD made an on-ground visit to the site to assess the damages and understand the need for assistance. The visit verified that the residents had lost everything, and their particularly vulnerable circumstance called for the need for immediate assistance. The site visit found that the affected population mainly lacked shelter, basic cooking utensils and rations, and bedding and hygiene items.
From the recommendations made by A-PAD Sri Lanka, A-PAD Japan came forward to assist the needs of the residents of Kajeema Wathttha in Thotalanga, Colombo District. The local platform hopes to provide hygiene related items and COVID-19 wellness packs in coordination with national authorities. The government, led by the Disaster Management Centre and the military, are currently working on restoring the damaged homes and attending to the needs of the affected families.